NEW MEXICO: Big, powerful defensive tackle who stepped right into the starting lineup during an outstanding spring practice season after transferring to New Mexico from Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa...teamed with senior Kendall Briscoe to provide a real interior presence for the Lobos in their new 4-3 system...with inexperienced depth behind them, coaches counted on he and Briscoe to handle a majority of the snaps last fall...good quickness and mobility as well, and can make plays out of the tackle box...poised to be even more of a threat this fall with improved conditioning and 12 games of starting experience at the Division I level...enrolled at UNM in January of 2009...attended South Carolina State the 2006-07 academic year, but did not play football.
2009 (JUNIOR): Finished with 39 stops, including a sack and 5.0 TFLs (4 solo, 2 assisted), and tallied 9 QB hurries/hits in his first 12 Division I games (all starts)...3 PBUs, batting down a passes at the line...his presence helped fellow DT Kendall Briscoe rank among the MWC's TFL leaders and earn Honorable Mention All-MWC...season-high 9 stops in week 3 vs. Air Force...5 tackles and a TFL in the opener at Texas A&M.
`09 HIGHLIGHTS: at No. 4 TCU...Capped his debut season with one of his best games...finished with 5 tackles (3 solo), including one for loss, and had a QB hurry...vs. Colorado State...Got in on 4 tackles, including a season-high 2 solo tackles for loss...stuffed Ram RB John Mosure in the backfield to help force a 3-and-out that set-up the Lobos' game-winning drive.
LACKAWANNA COLLEGE: Two-year starter and an all-conference defensive tackle for the Falcons in 2008 when he had 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles...47 tackles and 5 sacks his freshman season...played for head coach Mark Duda.
HIGH SCHOOL: A 2006 graduate of Bloomfield (Conn.) HS...all-state defense as a senior, totaling 70 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and 5 forced fumbles...played in the Rhode Island-Connecticut all-star game.
PERSONAL: Born July 16, 1988, in Hartford...full name is Peter Howard Gardner...son of Howard and Pamela...major is University Studies.